Our Director

​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Najat A. Saliba is a Professor at the Chemistry Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB).  She is also the Director of the AUB-Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC).  

Dr. Saliba developed innovative methods to determine the physical and chemical characteristics of water pipe (WP) smoke and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) at the design and smoke levels.  She determined the major contributing sources of elevated levels of pollution in the city and assessed the contribution of dust storms originating in nearby deserts.  

The data she generated is used by local government and research agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank in their publications. 


At AUB-NCC she leads in offering innovative solutions to local rural environmental challenges through public participatory and citizen science approaches.  Her recent work at AUB-NCC has focused on waste management and water contamination.  Her outputs made headline news in local and international media outlets and
culminated in over 85 peer-reviewed articles that are highly cited. 

She is the recipient of the 2019 L'Oréal-UNESCO International Award for Women in Science, the National Order of the Cedar from the President of the Lebanese Republic, the Honorary Cedar Shield from the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research Award in the Environmental Category in 2016 and along with a multidisciplinary team, the 2018 American Psychological Association (APA) Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research.

In 2019, she was awarded the Laureate for Africa and the Arab States, as part of the L'OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards. This highly prestigious award only select five women from around the world ​and "recognize accomplished women researchers, to encourage more young women to enter the profession and to assist them once their careers are in progress."

Click here to watch her speech during the award ceremony.

On the 16th​ of October 2019, BBC announced the Top 100 Women ​in the World for 2019, among which Dr. Saliba. 

She once said: "Like the positive and negative dipoles defining a chemical bond, and the yin and the yang staging the balance in nature, women and men must co-reign to solve our current and future environmental threats."

Click here to watch her interview with BBC.

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, on the 22nd of March 2019, awarded a National Cedar Medal to the Director of AUB's Nature Protection Center, professor Najat Aoun Saliba, in recognition of her pioneering research and efforts in the field of air pollution and for the UNESCO's international L'Oréal award. 

Dr. Najat Aoun ​Saliba was awarded on the 11th of April, an honorary shield from Head of Parliament, Speaker Nabih Berri, for her scientific achievements, which culminated in her receiving the 2019 L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

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